Even outside of its nostalgic design, the Caterham Seven isn’t just a kit car. The little British roadster is arguably one of the purest sports cars on sale today. But what would happen if someone made it even more stripped-down and replaced the ICE powertrain with an electric one? Well, one Japanese company has done just that with the Blaze EV Classic.
Despite its size, the Blaze EV Classic isn’t a Power Wheels toy
While the Blaze EV Classic visually apes the Caterham Seven in overall design somewhat, the two vehicles are built on slightly different scales. For one, the Japanese EV only has a single seat. And secondly, it’s less than eight feet long, Automobile reports. However, while it’s not exactly fast, like the electric Bugatti Baby II, it’s not exactly a toy, either.
The Blaze EV Classic has a single electric motor at its rear wheels rated at 4 hp and 21 lb-ft, Autoblog reports. But, because the little EV only weighs 441 pounds, that output is enough to give a 31-mph top speed. The downside is the Blaze EV Classic only has 31 miles of range, Motor1 reports, and recharging takes about eight hours. However, it does have rear discs and front drums, LED lights, and even an optional rear differential. No doors or windshield, though.
If these specs seem more in-line with a scooter or moped than a car, there’s a good reason for that. Blaze mostly makes electric scooters, though the EV Classic isn’t its first non-2-wheeled vehicle. Plus, because the EV Classic is actually smaller than a kei car, in Japan it’s legally classified as a moped, Automobile reports. And, unlike the Bugatti Baby II, it’s technically road-legal.
Is there an actual electric Caterham Seven?
But though the Blaze EV Classic recalls a Caterham Seven, the latter naturally leaves it in the dust. Even the least-powerful Seven, the 270, has almost 34 times the output of the mini EV. And while the Blaze EV Classic seems like a fun run-about, the Seven is basically a fast street-legal go-kart, Road & Track reports. But is there an EV version?
As of this writing, Caterham doesn’t offer an electric Seven kit. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t get one through the aftermarket.
A Bulgarian firm, Kinetik, did just that with the Kinetik 07, Autoblog reports. Admittedly, over 90% of the 07’s parts, including the customizable 3D-printed body panels, aren’t from Caterham. However, the roadster still has a Seven chassis, Top Gear reports. Only instead of an internal-combustion engine, it has an electric powertrain rated at 349 hp and 502 lb-ft. And rather than analog gauges, the Kinetik 07’s dashboard has several touchscreens.
Unfortunately, the Kinetik 07 is a limited-edition product. But with the rise of ‘crate’ electric powertrains, you could theoretically buy a rolling-chassis Caterham Seven and turn it into an EV. There are several shops dedicated to electric conversions, and yes, you could still have an electric Seven with a manual.
Getting one of your own
An electric-converted Caterham Seven will likely cost more than the Blaze EV Classic. A Seven 270 starts at $37,900 without a powertrain. And that’s before you include the cost of the conversion from a shop like EV West or Moment Motors. In comparison, the EV Classic starts at just under the equivalent of $8500.
Unfortunately, unlike the Seven, Blaze doesn’t plan on selling the EV Classic in the US. But that doesn’t mean you couldn’t get an importer to bring one over. Though the paperwork might be a bit confusing.
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